3 Essential Steps To Buying Property On The Costa del Sol

Thousands of people arrive at Malaga airport every week from all over the globe to buy property on the Costa del Sol. Armed with a fistful of cash, good intentions and with gusto, begin the enjoyable search for their dream home.

Marbella Old Town

Despite this match made in heaven…a property market on the move, investors and tourists armed with money and a willingness to spend, you would be surprised how many leave empty handed and despondently trudge their way back through customs armed with nothing more than a few brochures and a semi decent tan.

3 Things To Do If You’re Seriously Considering A Costa del Sol Property

“I wonder what Portugal’s like?” is probably a phrase heard more often than imagined, as disappointed buyers take their seat on the flight back to wet and miserable home, having spent good money and valuable time visiting the Costa to buy a property. Sure, there will always be a number of people who can’t find what they want. Some just popped over for a inquisitive look for themselves  or some never really had the courage to buy, but for many, a serious purchase requires serious effort, and to be leaving empty handed can somehow be harder to take than you might think.

The hardest thing about buying a property on the coast is finding the right one and then paying for it!

1. Do Your Homework

For some, the Costa del Sol is a ‘home away from home’ so they may well know exactly what they want, where they want to have it and how much it will cost them to get it, and for these people the choice of what to buy and where, can be a lot easier than for the countless thousands of others who know only that this coast is considered one of the best climates in Europe so owning a property on the Costa del Sol is more or less guaranteed sunshine when all is dismal and wet back home.

The coast is famous for its lifestyle and the year round attraction to the rich and famous, so for people who are not so familiar with the coast they tend to look at the usual suspects of Puerto Banus and Marbella.

As beautiful as these places are, the Costa del Sol is full of opportunity. From the Malaga suburbs of Torremolinos and Fuengirola, to the calm and tranquility of Al Cadaisa and beyond, before coming, do a little research. The coast is approximately 120 kilometers in length, from Nerja in the east of Malaga, to La Linea in the west and has so much diversity it would be impossible to write about it all here, so if you are unsure of the coast, do yourself a favour, and don’t rule out having a look at other options that are not a stone’s’ throw from the central hub of Marbella.

You will be pleasantly surprised (and you get more for your money)

You could do worse than to visit the TerraSur Homes search page where you can search all twenty five thousand properties by type, price, number of bedrooms, location etc. If you are not sure, type in your budget, enter how many bedrooms you would prefer to have and just hit the “enter’ button and see what you get.

You could be the bravest of them all and search independently but with so many properties available, you could well spend many many hours or days searching, when possibly the smarter purchaser would have someone do it all for them…

2. Set Your Expectations

The coastline is a gorgeous place. It has such a diversity that it caters for more or less anyone, whether it’s a bolt-hole in the sun to escape to for long weekends and few rounds of golf, a permanent residence, or a more profitable place to sink some hard earned cash rather than the paltry returns that your bank offers. But, (there is always a ‘but’) unless you know what you will get for you money, you may be looking in the wrong place.

A Malaga street

Many times people with good intentions and a picture perfect image in their heads, arrive on the coast expecting a five-bedroom detached villa, on the beach. Boasting magnificent views across the Mediterranean and the far coast of Africa, they dream of walking distance to a Michelin star restaurant and a dozen more beach ‘Chiringuitos’ where they can wine and dine friends and mix with the rich and famous…only to discover that their budget gets them a two-bedroom ground floor apartment a twenty minute walk from the nearest cafe, and a view of a communal garden.

Not that there is anything wrong with this, as I have seen some absolutely drop dead gorgeous two bedroom properties that are fabulous for living in, and in some great locations and with some pretty spectacular views, but you need to understand what your money will get you, and where on the coast it will be.

Whatever you might be looking to spend, whatever part of the coast you are most interested in, one thing is for sure that as we stand today, there are fewer areas in the world where the market has struggled to its knees and is gathering enough strength to get back on its feet (Bill Gates, the guy with the glasses, just bought a 6% stake in a Spanish construction company called Formento de Construcciones y Contratas FCC)

3. Pick the Right Estate Agent

This is probably the number 1 key factor…and I’m not just saying it because I am one of the seven hundred plus estates agents operating on the Costa del Sol today. That’s five realtors for every one kilometer of coastline.

There are three ways to buy a property in Spain.

“Im going to do it on my own! I don’t need any help, so up yours sunshine!!!!”

Not matter how brave you are I don’t recommend that you go it alone. The legwork, man hours and commitment to get past all the agents and go directly to the source is extraordinarily time consuming, and in nearly every case you will miss out on the vast majority of options available. I recently met a couple from Torrox who were looking to move further west to be more in the heart of things and in four sweat ridden days had managed to view two properties.

“I’m not the kind of person to put all my eggs in one basket…so I’m going to use a different estate agent for each property I want to view”

Puerto Banus

Understandable if no single agent has gained your trust, but again it’s not really recommended. Organizing appointments to view properties requires a certain amount of logistical skill, and having a dozen different agents all trying to make appointments to view apartments on your behalf requires even more. Asking one agent to drop you off while you meet another one can push even the most saintly agent to the point of driving off at high speed after leaving you on a street corner while you wait, is not something that you really need.

“I am all for the easy life, let someone else do all the work is what I say”

If you are fortunate enough to have made contact with an agent who you like is a godsend. It is by far the most practical way to view and buy property here on the coast. The agent will know what you want and will be able to adjust the viewings or show you some gems that they know about. There is nothing worse that have to explain everything from scratch every time you meet a new agent. If you go with an agent who has your best interest at heart, then the process is so much simpler. They know your needs, they can help with lawyers, mortgages, property management companies etc., and will be able to negotiate the best deal if such a thing is possible, and their local knowledge will prove invaluable for you.

Remember: All Agencies on the coast can show you all the properties…with very few exceptions

At the end of the day, it is your choice how you go about buying the right Costa del sol property. If you need some pointers or some impartial advice then drop us a line and we will happily talk you through the process, send you some properties to get you going and make sure that when you come for a visit, it is prepared, organized and you will be seeing the right properties for you.


Photo credit: Nick Kenrick. via Source / CC BY

Photo credit: Nick Kenrick.( away in Europe ) via StoolsFair / CC BY